It might not sound like the ultimate anti-ageing elixir, but research shows the humble artichoke could have an ability to help slow down our skin’s ageing process.
Scientists looked at what effect cynaropicrin, a bioactive compound found in artichoke, has on skin cells and uncovered some surprising benefits.
They found that the natural chemical was able to activate protective systems in skin cells, which had two main effects.
Firstly the inflammation process in the cells was reduced (inflammation in skin cells can lead to redness and swelling) and secondly the production of ‘oxygen free radicals’ by the skin cells, when they were exposed to environmental stress, was lowered. Oxygen-free radicals are thought to be the main culprit behind ageing skin and are produced when things like pollution or solar radiation stress skin.
In short, artichoke extract appears to be able to reduce inflammation and ageing of the skin, with the scientists behind the study concluding that artichoke extract could have a role to play in reducing skin ageing.
Artichoke is hugely popular on the continent but rarely finds itself on dinner plates in the UK. Instead try Natur Boutique’s Organic Artichoke Tea, whose sole ingredient is pure organic artichoke and which is available from www.naturboutique.co.uk, Amazon and independent health stores nationwide for just £2.99 for a box of 20 tea bags.